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Title: Comparing datasets of volume servers to illuminate their energy use in data centers

Abstract

As data centers proliferate, their energy intensity deserves close attention. Always-on operations and growing usage for cloud and other backend processes make servers the fundamental driver of data center energy use. Yet servers’ power draw under real-world conditions is poorly understood. This paper explores characteristics of volume servers that affect energy use, quantifying differences in power draw between higher-performing Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) and ENERGY STAR servers and that of a typical server. First, we establish general characteristics of the US installed base, before reporting hardware configurations from a major online retail website. We then compare idle power across three datasets (one unique to this paper) and explain their differences via the hardware characteristics to which power draw is most sensitive. We find idle server power demand to be significantly higher than benchmarks from ENERGY STAR and the industry-released SPEC database, and SPEC server configurations—and likely their power scaling—to be atypical of volume servers. Next, we examine power draw trends among high-performing servers across their load range to consider whether these trends are representative of volume servers, before inputting average idle power load values into a recent national server energy use model. Lastly, results from two surveys of ITmore » professionals illustrate the incidence of more efficient equipment and operational practices in server rooms/closets. Future work should include server power field measurements in data centers of different sizes, accounting for variations in configurations and setting changes post-purchase, as well as investigating the linkage between time and server energy efficiency.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
OSTI Identifier:
1567154
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Energy Efficiency
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Energy Efficiency; Journal ID: ISSN 1570-646X
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Fuchs, Heidi, Shehabi, Arman, Ganeshalingam, Mohan, Desroches, Louis-Benoit, Lim, Brian, Roth, Kurt, and Tsao, Allen. Comparing datasets of volume servers to illuminate their energy use in data centers. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1007/s12053-019-09809-8.
Fuchs, Heidi, Shehabi, Arman, Ganeshalingam, Mohan, Desroches, Louis-Benoit, Lim, Brian, Roth, Kurt, & Tsao, Allen. Comparing datasets of volume servers to illuminate their energy use in data centers. United States. doi:10.1007/s12053-019-09809-8.
Fuchs, Heidi, Shehabi, Arman, Ganeshalingam, Mohan, Desroches, Louis-Benoit, Lim, Brian, Roth, Kurt, and Tsao, Allen. Fri . "Comparing datasets of volume servers to illuminate their energy use in data centers". United States. doi:10.1007/s12053-019-09809-8.
@article{osti_1567154,
title = {Comparing datasets of volume servers to illuminate their energy use in data centers},
author = {Fuchs, Heidi and Shehabi, Arman and Ganeshalingam, Mohan and Desroches, Louis-Benoit and Lim, Brian and Roth, Kurt and Tsao, Allen},
abstractNote = {As data centers proliferate, their energy intensity deserves close attention. Always-on operations and growing usage for cloud and other backend processes make servers the fundamental driver of data center energy use. Yet servers’ power draw under real-world conditions is poorly understood. This paper explores characteristics of volume servers that affect energy use, quantifying differences in power draw between higher-performing Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) and ENERGY STAR servers and that of a typical server. First, we establish general characteristics of the US installed base, before reporting hardware configurations from a major online retail website. We then compare idle power across three datasets (one unique to this paper) and explain their differences via the hardware characteristics to which power draw is most sensitive. We find idle server power demand to be significantly higher than benchmarks from ENERGY STAR and the industry-released SPEC database, and SPEC server configurations—and likely their power scaling—to be atypical of volume servers. Next, we examine power draw trends among high-performing servers across their load range to consider whether these trends are representative of volume servers, before inputting average idle power load values into a recent national server energy use model. Lastly, results from two surveys of IT professionals illustrate the incidence of more efficient equipment and operational practices in server rooms/closets. Future work should include server power field measurements in data centers of different sizes, accounting for variations in configurations and setting changes post-purchase, as well as investigating the linkage between time and server energy efficiency.},
doi = {10.1007/s12053-019-09809-8},
journal = {Energy Efficiency},
issn = {1570-646X},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

Works referenced in this record:

Worldwide electricity used in data centers
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Estimating the Energy Use and Efficiency Potential of U.S. Data Centers
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Characteristics of low-carbon data centres
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  • Masanet, Eric; Shehabi, Arman; Koomey, Jonathan
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Trends in worldwide ICT electricity consumption from 2007 to 2012
journal, September 2014